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Yes, we did

Adanthar I think it's a great outcome. Many of you undoubtedly disagree. Let's set that aside from now on and hope Obama is a good leader (and, oh yeah, fixes online poker and stuff).

While I type up a full postmortem, here's what happened on Intrade last night:

Before election day, I had a solid plan backed up by a decent sized investment fund that I promised would have a conservative approach. With an effective six figures on the site, I could both move my own lines when I wanted them to move and spread out my picks so that the fund would get the safer, conservative lines while my own money went to riskier, but higher return lines. What I wound up doing was to park the bulk of the money in the main President contracts and their derivatives because of their liquidity, then spread the rest out to state and Senate races. The fund mostly focused on complete locks like PA, IA and WI; my own account was riskier and had large positions all over the map. Both, however, had much bigger sums bet on the very early poll closing states (VA, NC) and at the end (CO, NV) than the ones in the middle (MO). The reasoning was that either the early states would close and I would have the money freed up to roll over to the late time zones, or I'd see the danger signs coming and be able to get away from the late betting while I could. In addition, every contract had sales posted at 5 or 95, in order to release the cash ASAP.

Even the best laid plans do not survive first contact with the enemy. Instead of an orderly rolling out of results, what happened was that the first set of states was the closest and the polls were off in exactly VA (where I had lots of money) and IN (where I put in a lot after initially seeing good numbers; I overestimated the turnout in Lake County) while being on the dot everywhere else. Especially given Intrade's terrible layout and that I was juggling two accounts over multiple browser windows, I was forced to focus on those early, unexpectedly close contracts and couldn't keep up with the rest, which were doing what I wanted them to, anyway. As a result, while I eventually made a nice profit on IN (down a few hundred)/NC (up a few hundred)/VA (huge win)) combined, all of the other contracts duly released at 95 and I mostly lost out on those final 5 points while being unable to really coordinate things the way I wanted. I also wound up negative in MO and on Franken, although for small amounts.

With that said, the site didn't go down, I did eventually make the right calls in most places, the night was very positive overall, and even with the missing 5 points and unwieldiness relative to market size, the investment fund did very well, posting a 13.5% ROI (including Intrade's gigantic fees, mind you) in two weeks.

Next time - and there will be a next time - I will be ready for all of that, the market will be even more crushed, and I'll probably gloat about it somewhere.


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